Google Maps Rolls Out Transit Times for Motorcyclists In Limited Markets

Google has been working hard to add new features to Google Maps over the last few months to make the app even more useful to people. June saw both incident reporting and augmented reality navigation features added for users in some areas. Google Maps is now becoming more motorcycle friendly in some countries. In the U.S. there are a substantial number of motorcyclists that ride all over the country, but the fastest growing areas for motorcycles is in some Eastern Asia markets.


Google Maps has rolled out an update in some of those Eastern Asia locations that adds a new "motorcycle" option. The feature initially rolled out in India and is now offered in Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, and the Philippines. The new motorcycle option puts an estimated time for motorcyclists under your location bars along with time estimates for cars, trains, and walking.

The motorcycle option considers that travel times via motorcycle are often longer than by car because motorcyclists often make more stops or travel slower than cars. The feature will also show motorcyclists smaller roads that aren't car friendly and will list parking areas for bikers.

Motorcyclists often must focus on the road moreso than car drivers and to make things easier and safer for motorcyclists the motorcycle feature will rely on audio instructions. Many motorcyclists are forced to keep their device in a pocket rather than on the dash like cars so audio instructions are very useful for this demographic. Navigation instructions will be based more on landmarks to make navigation easier.

Google hasn’t confirmed that the motorcycle feature will be launching in the U.S. but considering that there are huge numbers of motorcyclists in the States, it would be a surprise if the feature doesn’t come here. There is no indication of a feature for motorcyclists that allow them to choose the curviest routes, something that many motorcycle GPS devices focus on.